Opening of final link of North Shore Bike Path from Lake Cook to the Wisconsin border in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, 9/10

September 25, 2009

For the first time it is possible to bike, jog and run to and from Wisconsin and Cook County without ever leaving a bike path.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Lake Forest, after the date of the dedication was twice canceled due to rain, to officially open the final extension of the Skokie Valley Bike Path from Laurel Avenue in Lake Forest up to Illinois Route 176, where it now connects with the North Shore Bike Path at Route 176.

The one-mile Lake Forest-Lake Bluff extension, adjacent to Lake Forest Open Lands, is the latest addition to the Lake County Department of Transportation more than 50 miles of bike paths.  The bike path extension became a reality through the cooperation of the Lake County Board, Division of Transportation, and several other government agencies working together.

The site of the ceremony was in front of the lighted tunnel under the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, constructed to enable bicyclists, pedestrians and joggers to continue on their way without having to cross the railroad tracks.  The total cost of the project was $2.7 million with money appropriated by the County Board and a $200,000 Bike Illinois grant by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help with the project.

Featured speakers at the ceremony were Susan Loving Gravenhorst, Lake County Board District 13, who spearheaded the request for the funding after which the County Board followed through, and Marty Buehler, P.E., Lake County Division of Transportation Director.

Attending the ceremony were two officials from Commonwealth Edison, as a section of the bike path is on Commonweath Edison right-of-way. They were   John Misheniki, Local ComEd Supervisor and Jeff Batara, District ComEd Supervison.

Also present was Stephen Bartram, Executive Director of Lake Forest Open Lands,who worked to have the path located and constructed in a way that would help protect adjacent wetland and natural prairie resources.

Area citizens must take the time to experience first-hand the very attractive one-mile Lake Forest-Lake Bluff bike path extension.  It would make a pleasant walk, jog or bike ride on a balmy fall day.  Some may even wish to explore more of the trail by following the connection to the North Shore Bike Path when reaching Route 176.

The Village of Lake Bluff and the City of Lake Forest will take care of the day-to-day maintenance of their respective sections of the bike path.

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